As an American, born in Chicago and quickly after moving to the south where I spent the majority of my childhood, I have to start by saying how much I love America.
It is my home and all I have ever known. I have lived everywhere from big cities to small towns. I have met people from all walks of life, from people of diverse ethnicities, to people of all different religious backgrounds. America is all about diversity—a home to dreamers that believe in a land of freedom, democracy, and the rights of the people. I have travelled to about more than half of the fifty-two states, and I am proud to be an American.
With that being said, let’s talk the “Take a Knee” drama flooding our current media. I first want to say that the protest had absolutely nothing to do with our troops or their service to America. When Kaepernick was asked why he kneeled during the National Anthem, nothing about our troops or our servicemen was mentioned, so you can throw that concept out the window for its irrelevance to the topic.
If you listen to his statement, it was an honest, respectful way to protest the hypocrisy in our anthem, “Land of the free,” and a peaceful way to address the political need to evolve and unite as human beings and stop all forms of segregation and hate—to end all forms of racism.
By taking a knee, you are standing up for equality and standing against the segregation of our great country. In reality, by taking a knee, you are standing up for the American constitution and the foundation of our democracy. Our military is made up of men and women of all ethnicities and religions that have fought in unity to protect the rights and freedoms of all people.
To act like a dictator and force your beliefs on another, and to not allow someone to express themselves in a peaceful manner and address a very real issue in America (racism), is radical and completely against our constitution. And if you do not believe racism exists… well, we will have to address that ridiculous concept in another article.
‘But he should have done it another way, not during the national anthem.’
You are on national TV and have the power to reach a large audience of the American people. What better way is there to bring attention to a noble cause?—The civil rights of the American people.
Sorry if you do not agree, but black people are American citizens too—and if you do not feel this way, that is something to be addressed in another article too, but in the meantime, we have a word for that in the English dictionary:
It is so sad that instead of being concerned that a human being and a fellow American citizen feels the need to take a knee and risk his entire career to stand up for the rights of an entire people, some fellow Americans turn around and take a defensive mindset and attack the man who simply wanted to address an issue of race and segregation within our country, a matter that should not be taken lightly.
What are we fighting for if not democracy, equality, and peace for all people? Where are your American values if you do not want freedom and justice for all?
I come from a multi-cultural background, being half White and half East African/Middle Eastern but it does not mean I would not hesitate for one second to come to my Hispanic neighbor’s help. I believe in the Islamic faith, but I would not hesitate for a moment to come to my Christian neighbor’s help if they are being persecuted, harmed, or in any need at all, and that goes for any other race/ethnicity, religious background, or sexual orientation that I am not.
We do not have to be a certain race/ethnicity, or a certain follower of a particular faith, or believe in everything another person believes in to be concerned for our fellow human beings well-being and their basic human rights.
As human beings, we should be concerned about the way people are being persecuted and treated. It is just basic humanity to want for your fellow man what you want for yourself, or already have for yourself. To find out someone experienced racism, or violence, or hatred, or bullying towards them should repulse us all, and we should all be quick to link arms and unite with an honest cause.
We should put our egos aside and listen for a second to what this man is saying by politely kneeling to address an issue, and we should be focused on the real issue that needs to be addressed:
The lack of equality within our borders.
Watching the unity of all races on the football fields was a symbol of what America is all about:
Standing up (or in this case kneeling) for unity and freedom for all people.
Watching the unity of the NFL was watching an example of true American values in full display. Watching the unity of the NFL stand arm in arm, hands on shoulders, whites and blacks, and all races linked together in unity was why I am so proud to be an American. I am so proud of every man that risked their career to kneel to justice and fight to hold onto our constitution through this peaceful form of protest.